Voluntary Early Retirement
Judge to Rule in Two Weeks
On Union Petition to Compel Arbitration
Burrus Update #23-03, Oct. 24, 2003
Federal District Judge Reggie B. Walton said he will issue a ruling within two weeks on the union's petition to compel the Postal Service to go arbitration expeditiously over disputes regarding voluntary early retirement. Judge Walton made the announcement after hearing oral arguments in Washington, DC on Oct. 23.
The APWU invoked the Administrative Dispute Resolution Process on the issue in July and in September filed the lawsuit because postal officials refused to schedule a prompt arbitration hearing. The suit asked the court to order the Postal Service to go to arbitration on the next available arbitration date.
At the court hearing, the APWU urged the judge to order that the dispute be submitted to arbitration without delay. The Postal Service argued that they should not have to arbitrate the matter because the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) determines the rules for early retirements.
The APWU pointed out that the Postal Service has not fulfilled its obligation to seek broad early retirement authority for all eligible APWU-represented employees, and the Postal Service has not properly used the authority OPM granted to make early retirement available. As a result, many postal workers have been denied early retirement improperly.
Having heard the parties' arguments, Judge Walton said that he would study the record and issue a decision within two weeks.